Thursday, January 28, 2016

Longtime Champion for Income Equality: Hillary Clinton

Guest post by tybinka

Some time ago, Vice President Biden said some pretty strange things about Hillary being a relative newcomer to issues of income equality. Since then, commentators, including one questioner in the Des Moines Town Hall, have been picking up his remarks as though they are fact. Huh? Was Biden referring to the same Hillary that I know? Or was he just throwing out remarks?

Isn’t this the same woman who turned down prestigious law opportunities to work as a young staff attorney for the Children’s Defense Fund, who was recently honored by that fund at their 40th anniversary for being a tireless advocate for low-income children? Hillary was with this organization at its beginning forty years ago. (1970, 73, 74)

Isn’t this the woman who directed the Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Arkansas School of Law while serving as assistant professor there (1974-77) and who was appointed by President Carter (1978) to the board of directors of legal services to help distribute federal funds to legal-aid bureaus throughout the United States? Doesn’t legal aid serve low- income individuals?

Wasn’t she appointed, in 1979, to be chairperson of the Rural Health Advisory Committee to provide health-care in isolated areas?

Isn’t this the First Lady who tirelessly attempted to drive universal health care through a reluctant congress (1993), who set the groundwork for the affordable care act that we have today?

Isn’t this the same woman who advocated for the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide all children with health insurance, who promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses, who used her influence to help create the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act? Who wrote It Takes a Village?

As junior senator from New York, didn’t she tirelessly raise funds for 9/11 Health Watch, which monitors aid for those who fell ill after the 2001 attacks? Wasn’t she among the first to demand legislation on behalf of first-responders? Doesn’t she continue to advocate for these individuals today since many now have no means to earn a living?

Hillary’s activism across the entire world on behalf of women and children is renowned. All of her various roles, including that of Secretary of State, have included the parallel agenda of shepherding women’s rights across the world. She has consistently reminded us that women deserve equal pay for equal work.

Is this someone who is a newcomer to fighting for income equality?

The thing is, Hillary is an incredibly hard worker and she stays with it. She gets things done and doesn’t have as much time as some candidates to talk about it. She’s busy listening to the needs of low-income people, and all women and children, then fighting for them. While Hillary has a long list of advisers, she has a way of looking at their advice through the lens of everyday people. That’s why she has gained credibility on the Flint, Michigan lead-infested water issue. Instead of calling for resignations and finding a fall guy, she sent someone there who could provide support and get action.

· Hillary looks at global issues like the great disparity in incomes with a local and even individual perspective.

· She addresses income inequality not as a concept to be brandished about at political rallies but as a reality for millions of Americans.

· She starts from where we are now, has a vision of where she wants us to be as well as fully thought-out plans and tenacious energy to get us there.

· She does not offer a grand design but instead suggests measures that can be accomplished during her presidency.

Far from being a newcomer to fighting for income equality, Hillary is an old timer in the best sense, one who understands the gap between noticing what is wrong and putting policy into place to do something about it. She’s practical, pragmatic, and tireless. And that’s what it takes to be a champion. That’s what it takes to be president. I’m voting for Hillary.

No comments:

Post a Comment